One Thousand Scents

Friday, February 17, 2012

Arms and the Man: Juliette Has A Gun Vengeance Extreme


Rose and patchouli are two of the most important notes in perfumery: it's actually sort of a challenge to find a scent that doesn't have one or the other, there are hundreds upon hundreds that have both, and a fair number are built around the pairing. Tommy Hilfiger did a duo, Loud, based on them (mostly patchouli for the men, mostly rose for the women), Dior's Midnight Poison is hardly anything except fresh clean patchouli and a big clear rose, ELO's Rossy de Palma is the same only dirtier and darker, L'Artisan's Voleur de Rose the same but dirtier and darker still (so much so that I can't wear it), Guerlain's Idylle Duet is an Idylle flanker named for the conjunction of the two notes, and Clinique's Aromatics Elixir, to the extent that its wall of scent can be said to be dominated by anything, is a floral chypre dominated by roses and patchouli.

So I understand why niche house Juliette Has A Gun wanted a rose-patchouli scent of their own, Lady Vengeance, which softens the blow with a hefty dose of vanilla. I am just not sure why they thought they had to do it all over again five years later with Vengeance Extreme.

Okay, that's not quite true: I'm reasonably sure they made Vengeance Extreme because they wanted to make a version of Lady Vengeance for men. Perhaps they didn't want to call it Mister Vengeance because they wanted women to buy it, too, but make no mistake: Vengeance Extreme is a thoroughly masculine rose scent.

Like its ancestor, it's simplicity itself, starting out with a huge wallop of prickly rose and grimy patchouli with a suggestion of men's-cologne citrus atop it. The rose gradually fades, leaving the patchouli which is eventually supplemented with a whisper of vanilla. That's it, really.

To my surprise, the more I wore it, the more I liked it. It's not something I have to own, because it's probably too simple for its own good (I don't see how you wouldn't get bored of it after a while), but if you've been looking for a good men's rose scent and the bottle doesn't scare you off, Vengeance Extreme is probably just the thing.

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